Locked Re: FDR Funeral Train Footage
Not relating to the funeral train…toggle quoted message Show quoted text
My father was on FDR’s Marine Guard prior to WWII. As an “inside guard”, he was one of the Marines closest to the President. He traveled with FDR to and from Warm Springs and New York several times.
He told me the Marines and railroad crews did not always get along. The President’s specially equipped auto accompanied him on trips. It rode in the baggage section of a P&B (passenger and baggage) in the consist. In addition to the auto, a (heavy) wooden ramp was with the car. Once, at Warm Springs, someone from the Southern insisted the Marines had to unload the ramp. Aside from the fact that telling a group of “old Corps” Marines what to do could ruin your day, the Secret Service people got involved and explained why the Marines’ were there. The conversation never came up again….no surprise there.
Like many people of that era, my father thought very highly of “FDR”. At night, several Marines would sit in the kitchen of the Little White House in Warm Springs in case a message came in that had to be delivered to the President. It was not unusual for Mr. Roosevelt to come into the kitchen at all hours, ask how “my boys” were doing and have a cup of coffee with them.
In return, “his” Marines were extremely protective. Woe be it to any photographer that attempted to take a photo of the President wearing his leg braces (from childhood polio). It only took the loss of a few Speed Graphics for the word to “get out”.
No doubt in my mind…the “Greatest Generation”.
(Sgt. USMC 1964-68)
On Mar 30, 2023, at 11:11 AM, Curtis Brookshire via groups.io <curtis.brookshire@...> wrote:
Will, I wish you luck in finding footage of funeral train other than the few snippets appearing on the web. All I've ever seen were shots of the train departing Warm Springs and backing into Union Station Washington. There is footage taken from the moving train of the trackside crowds and revealing lineside locomotives you noted. That footage was most likely taken in either Georgia or South Carolina. I visited the FDR Library in Hyde Park NY many years ago, but they told me they had no video or motion picture footage in their archive. I would recommend the National Archives, Smithsonian or the Library of Congress as they might have something that's not available anywhere else.
Some book sources:
When FDR Died, by Bernard Asbell. Most accounts of the funeral used by other FDR biographers draw from this book.
The President Travels by Train, by Bob Withers
FDR's Funeral Train, by Robert Clary
As far as engines used:
PS-2s 1262/1337 Warm Springs - Atlanta
PS-4s 1409/1394 Atlanta - Greenville
1401/1385 Greenville - Salisbury (1401 w/American Flag from Spencer Shop)
1400/1367 Salisbury - Monroe
1366/1406 Monroe - Washington
Note: the train used both the lowest and highest numbered Ps-4s 1366 and 1409. As far as published photos from various books, there is a shot of the 1262 leadings the train entering Terminal Station in Atlanta flanked by the honor guard of soldiers. There are aerials shot near Clemson and Greenville SC by an Army Air Force plane, a photo of the 1401 outside the Spencer roundhouse with the flag attached, and an amateur photo of the train climbing Fairfax Hill in Virginia with the 1366 and 1406.
In the 1970s mini-series "Eleanor and Franklin", the funeral train is included in the second installment which covered FDRs White House years with 2-8-2 4501 playing the role of the 1262 in scenes departing Warm Springs and in GA, and as 1409 during the night of April 13, 1945.
Best wishes with your search. If you find something "new", please let us know.
Curtis Brookshire, Pine Level NC